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Cyber Crime Unit of Odisha CID Busts Major Investment Fraud Ring, Arrests 15

Bhubaneswar: In a significant crackdown on cybercrime, the Cyber Crime Unit of the Crime Investigation Department (CID), Crime Branch, Odisha, has arrested 15 individuals involved in a series of high-profile crypto, stock, and IPO investment frauds. This organized gang of cybercriminals was operating under the guise of investment schemes promising high returns, deceiving many unsuspecting victims into transferring funds into the accounts of these fraudsters.

The masterminds behind this elaborate scam, Tushar Sharma and Bhavesh Thakur, alias Ankit and Alex, from Delhi, were among those arrested. The CID Crime Branch also apprehended several other key conspirators from Odisha, including Ranjit Kumar Bal of Kendrapada, Dillip Kumar Lenka of Balasore, Sunil Prasad of Ganjam, and Bishikesan Padhy, alias Siba, from Rayagada. These individuals were instrumental in opening current accounts in different banks to facilitate the fraudulent transfer of funds.

Other arrested suspects from Odisha include:

  • Kalandi Singh & Sudhansu Bhusan Pattanaik alias Bapi from Khordha
  • Udaybhanu Ghadei alias Papu of Bhubaneswar
  • Jiten Barad of Nayagarh
  • Bharat Bhusan Chakra of Jagatsinghpur
  • Bikash Chandra Rout alias Tutu & Uttam Kumar Sahu of Bhadrak
  • Satya Ranjan Sahoo from Balasore
  • Amit Kumar Rout of Ganjam

These individuals opened bank accounts in their names and used them for transferring fraudulently obtained money, fully aware that the accounts were being used for cyber fraud activities.

The Fraud Unveiled

The investigation was triggered by a complaint from a Bhubaneswar resident who had fallen victim to the scam. Posing as staff of a securities company and representatives of the Blackstone Investment Group involved in online trading, the fraudsters lured the victim with promises of high returns. After being invited to a WhatsApp group focused on institutional trading, the victim observed the discussions and was persuaded to invest. He eventually transferred a total of ₹3.04 crores from five of his accounts to various accounts specified by the criminals.

Despite attempts to withdraw his funds, the victim was asked to pay a 20% management fee on his purported profits, which they claimed had exceeded 300%. Realizing he had been defrauded, the victim approached the Cyber Crime Unit, leading to the registration of FIR No.39/2024 on 9th July 2024, under various sections of the IPC and the Information Technology Act, 2000.

Investigation and Arrests

Inspector Ashishdev Sahoo was assigned to investigate the case. Given the complexity, the Crime Branch formed five independent teams to detect the case and apprehend the accused. The investigation revealed a sophisticated money trail, leading to the arrests of Uttam Kumar Sahu, who shared account details with Bikash Chandra Rout, and subsequently Dilip Kumar Lenka. The investigation further led to the apprehension of key players Shiba alias Bisikesana Padhy and Sunil P. Dora, who were linked with the Delhi-based Ankit alias Bhavesh Thakur.

Ankit transferred the funds to a crypto wallet after completing the fraudulent transactions and distributed the commissions among all stakeholders. Similarly, Tushar Sharma, alias Monty, transferred the money to a crypto wallet and shared the proceeds with the accomplices.

Seized Articles

During the investigation, the following items were seized from the accused:

  • Mobile phones: 20
  • SIM Cards: 42
  • Debit Cards: 20
  • Cheque Books: 3
  • PAN Cards: 3
  • ADHAAR Cards: 5

Modus Operandi

The cybercriminals identified targets through social media and established contact, inviting them to join WhatsApp or Telegram groups for discussions on trading and investment. The victims were then enticed into opening fake trading accounts with promises of high returns. Although the victims could see their money apparently growing in the fake trading platforms, they were prevented from making withdrawals. When they attempted to withdraw, more money was extorted under the guise of processing fees and other charges. Ultimately, the victims were defrauded of significant amounts, which were transferred to the crypto accounts of the criminals.

Prior Offenses

Verification on the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (NCRP) revealed that the accused were involved in a series of cyber frauds across the country. For example:

  • Papu alias Udayabhanu Ghadei: Linked to 23 offenses
  • Uttam Kumar Sahu: Linked to 17 offenses
  • Dilip Kumar Lenka: Linked to 12 offenses
  • Bisikesan Padhy alias Shiba: Linked to 7 offenses
  • Sunil Dora: Linked to 3 offenses
  • Ankit alias Bhavesh Thakur: Linked to 81 offenses

Public Advisory

The Cyber Crime Unit of the Crime Branch urges citizens to exercise caution while engaging in online investment activities and to verify the authenticity of entities offering financial services. In recent years, there has been a concerning rise in investment fraud cases, often utilizing WhatsApp or Telegram groups to lure individuals with promises of unrealistic returns.

Citizens are advised to be wary of such offers and thoroughly scrutinize investment opportunities before committing funds. If encountering any suspicious online activities or falling victim to cyber fraud, individuals should immediately report the incidents by dialing Toll Free 1930 Cyber Crime Help Line or logging on to to register their complaints. They can also report suspected fraud numbers on the CHAKSHU portal of the Department of Telecommunications at or the cybercrime reporting portal of i4C, MHA at

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